Business activity has an impact on the natural environment:
The unintended negative effects of business activity on people and places are called social costs and include:
Ethical businesses are careful to minimise the impact of their behaviour on the environment.
Government laws are used to protect the environment. For example, firms must apply for planning permission before building factories or offices on greenfield sites. Grants are available to encourage firms to locate on brownfield sites, run down areas in need of regeneration.